Electronics Industry Urges Real Time Access to Energy Consumption Data

The Consumer Electronics Association, a US industry association representing more than 2000 companies, manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the electronics industry, has released a whitepaper entitled Unlocking the Potential of the Smart Grid – A Regulatory Framework for the Consumer Domain of Smart Grid.

The paper has many recommendations that suggest that smart meter programs introduced by the Ontario government and other jurisdictions have headed in the wrong direction. The major recommendations relate to providing consumers with real time access to energy use information so that the consumer can make meaningful choices about whether or not to use the energy at this point in time. High quality smart meter programs can do this – a monitor located in the kitchen or some other location in the house provides the consumer with the amount of electricity currently being used and the current price of that electricity.  With that information the consumer can choose to turn on another appliance, delay use of the additional appliance until prices are lower, or even to turn off an appliance to reduce current consumption. For reasons unknown, the Ontario government decided on a smart meter program that is based only on time of day – about as dumb a smart meter program as you can get.

CEA says, in effect, that jurisdictions that base smart metering only on time of use have blown it:
“CEA believes that in order for demand response to succeed, policymakers need to address at least two issues:
1. Consumers must be provided the economic incentive to reduce peak demand through dynamic pricing programs, and
2. Consumers and their third party smart grid providers must have access to real time consumption and pricing information in a format they can use.”

The CEA policy paper contains much more in the way of detailed policy proposals that are relevant not only to electricity smart metering but also, in Gallon Letter’s opinion, to all kinds of environmental social change initiatives. The 13 page document is well presented and referenced and can be downloaded at http://www.ce.org/RSS/default.asp#8026
Scroll down to CEA Calls for New Energy Policies to Reduce Consumption.

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